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Ecosystems (Grade 7)

Ecosystems (Grade 7)

This post will contain all of the grade 7 lessons on ecosystems. Students will be learning about the interactions within the environment, and identifying factors that affect the balance of an ecosystem. They will design and construct a model biosphere and use it to investigate interactions between components and how matter is cycled within the environment. Later in this section, students will describe the roles and interactions of producers within an ecosystem and distinguish between primary and secondary succession. We will begin by learning how to identify biotic and abiotic elements in ecosystems and describe the interactions between them.

Lesson 1: Biotic and Abiotic Factors

  1. List the biotic and abiotic factors in this handout (make a copy for yourself and save it to your ecosystems folder)
  2. Download a copy of this 4.1 ‘What is an Ecosystem?‘ text to your ecosystems folder
  3. Read the information and answer questions 2, 3, and 4 at the end of the text

Lesson 2: Ecosystem Unit Vocabulary

  1. Ecosystems Vocabulary Student Sheet (To be filled in using the 4.1 & 4.4 note)
  2. Ecosystems Vocabulary Student Sheet – Solutions
  3. Vocabulary worksheet
  4. Vocabulary of Ecosystems Worksheet – Solutions

Lesson 3: Interactions among Living Things

  1. Read the 4.4 Interactions among Living Things note
  2. Note the terms competition, predator, prey, and mutualism and add them to your vocabulary student sheet
  3. Choose a date for the upcoming vocabulary quiz.

Lesson 4: Biospheres

  1. Making a Biosphere Recipe
  2. Making a Biosphere Rubric

Lesson 5: Food Chains and Food Webs

  1. Read the ‘Food Chains and Food Webs‘ text
  2. Create a doc called ‘Food Chains and Food Webs’ in your ecosystems folder and answer questions #1 – 5 from the text


3. Watch the video above

4. Make a copy of the Food Webs video worksheet, fill it out, and submit it to your hand-in folder

Lesson 6: Carbon and Water Cycles

  1. Download a copy of this ‘Matter Cycles‘ text to your ecosystems folder
  2. Answer questions #2, 4, & 5 from the text
  3. Read the Carbon Cycle and Water Cycle Handout

Lesson 7: Roles of Organisms in an Ecosystem

  1. Read the Roles of Organisms in an Ecosystem note
  2. Answer questions #1, 2, & 3 from the text
  3. Note the terms photosynthesis, producers, consumer, herbivore, carnivore, scavenger, omnivore, detrivore, decomposer and add them to your vocabulary student sheet

Lesson 8: Energy Flow

  1. Read the Energy Flow in an Ecosystem note
  2. Answer questions 1, 4, and 5 in your Ecosystems folder
  3. Complete the Cycling of Matter labeling handout.

Lesson 9: Primary and Secondary Succession

  1. Read the Succession note
  2. Answer questions 1, and 2 in your Ecosystems folder
  3. Succession Video Assignment – link

Lesson 10: CoSpaces Project

  1. Introductory Activity and Tutorial
  2. CoSpaces Rubric and Assignment
  3. Coding Cheat Sheet

Introductory Videos

Cells (Grade 8)

Cells (Grade 8)

Lesson 1: Cell Theory

4.2 Postulates of the Cell Theory (Read and answer questions 1 -3: Due Wednesday, September 13)

Lesson 2: Plant and Animal Cells

  1. 4.5 Plant and Animal Cells (Read and answer question 4 at the end of the text)
  2. Organelle chart example (From question 4 above)
  3. Plant vs. Animal Cell Labelling Sheet 1 (Make a copy and save it to your Cells folder)

Lesson 3: The Compound Microscope

  1. 4.3 – The Compound Microscope (Read and answer questions 2-5 at the end of the text)

2. Microscope Labelling Diagram (Make a copy and fill in the blanks)

3. Microscope Labelling Diagram Solutions

Lesson 4: Advances in Microscopy

  1. 4.8 – Advances in Microscopy (Read and answer questions 2 – 6)
  2. Add Mitochondria, Ribosomes, Endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and Lysosomes to your cell organelle and function study sheet (lesson 2).
  3. Animal vs. Plant Cell Labelling Sheet # 2
  4. Solutions to Labelling Sheet # 2
  5. Organelle Functions (Full set)

Lesson 5: Comparing Plant & Animal Cells Lab 

  1. Lab Rubric (Go over and read before reading instructions)
  2. Cells Lab Instructions Page 1
  3. Cells Lab Instructions Page 2
  4. Lab sheet for students (make a copy for yourself)
  5. Microscope Cell Drawing Template

Lesson 6: Selectively Permeable Membranes

5.1 – The Cell Membrane (Answer questions #1-3 and add to your Cells folder)

Lesson 7: Diffusion and Osmosis

5.2 – Diffusion (Answer questions #2, 4, 5 and add to your Cells folder)

5.3 – Osmosis and Turgor Pressure (Answer questions #2, 3, 4 and add it to your Cells folder)

Here is a presentation on Osmosis and Turgor Pressure that may help your understanding of concepts.

I realized that the screen went black on the last slide of the screencast. Here is the slide on Turgor Pressure to go along with the audio.

Lesson 8: Cell Wars – Defending against invaders

Cell Wars Student Note link (Make a copy, add it to your Cells folder and answer questions #1-3)

Lesson 9: Cell Systems

The Levels of Organization

Lesson 10: Unicellular Organisms

Unicellular Organisms Defined:

Unicellular organisms are composed of a single cell, unlike multicellular organisms which are made of many cells. This means they each live and carry out all of their life processes as one single cell. Most unicellular organisms are microscopic;

  • Also called microorganisms or microbes since they are only visible under a microscope.
  • The single cell is responsible for feeding, digestion, excretion and reproduction.
  • Some microorganisms make us sick, but without the others we could not survive.
  • The following are examples of unicellular organisms:
    • Bacteria
    • Protists
    • Some Fungi

Multicellular Organisms Defined: 

A tissue, organ or organism that is made up of many cells is said to be multicellular. Animals, plants, and fungi are multicellular organisms and often, there is specialization of different cells for various functions. In contrast, unicellular, or single-celled organisms are much smaller in size and less complex as they are composed of just one cell that senses its environment, gathers nutrients and reproduces asexually. The following are examples of multicellular organisms: human beings, organs and tissues,  plants, animals, birds and insects. 

~Generally speaking, we can say that unicellular and multicellular organisms are alike in that they exhibit all the functions of life, such as metabolism and reproduction, they contain DNA and RNA, they can exhibit a wide range of lifestyles, and they are essential to almost every ecosystem that we currently know of.



Amoeba, Euglena, and Paramecium on the move

The paramecium are the larger protists, the amoeba are the blob-like protists, and the euglena are the smaller unicellular organisms.

Unit Review

Cells Unit Study Sheet

Student Note Study Package (Make a copy for yourself to modify/print out)

Create a Plan to Study – link

Pre-Planning Week 2023

Pre-Planning Week 2023

Welcome to our 2nd P.D. session on Makerspace resources. Below you will find helpful information on laser cutting, 3D printing, podcasting, 3D modeling, and 21st-century skills fostered in the makerspace. But first, a video from Ms. M. showing off all of our hard work and the amazing projects from the 2022-23 school year…

Makerspace Highlights 2022-23

Stations and Groups

Station 1: Scribble Bots (Julie) 

  • JK/K: Susan, Andrea, Maryse, Sharon, Keren
  • Grade 1: Ada, Efi, Ashley

Station 2: Podcasting (Faye)

  • Grade 2: Ann-Lynn, Dana, Jon, Jen
  • Grade 3: Lianna, Sigal, Caitlin, Aaron

Station 3: Laser Cutter (Mike)

  • Grade 4: Chelsea, Yulia, Steph, Brigitte
  • Grade 5: Chuck, Marina, Sylvie, Marie-Josee

Station 4: 3D printing (Josh)

  • Middle School: Wanda, Jacqui, Liat, Jess, Ruthie, Michelle, Melissa, Corinne

Laser Cutting 101

3D Printing Guide – (TinkerCAD login link)

Makerspace Guiding Principles, 21st Century Skills, and TinkerCAD Introduction

The Bat Box Project

The Bat Box Project

This blog post was written and documented by grade 6 students.

Introduction: For our final STEM project in science class, we decided to turn our focus on a very important creature that humans overlook far too much. The Bat. Bats pollinate and save American farmers billions of dollars a year in pest control costs by devouring insects. According to some estimates, such a service is valued from around 3.7 billion dollars to as much as 53 billion dollars per year. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. All things we used for that project. 

Did you know that in the last 20 years, the world has lost 6.5 million bats? The bat population around the world has been decreasing rapidly so in our science class, we found a way to aid scientists in saving the bats. We are creating a hanging box where bats can get away from predators and stay safe in harsh weather conditions. We call it the “ Bat Box Project”. We use the Design Thinking process when we are building because it helps us on track.

Empathize:  The empathize portion of Design Thinking is understanding the question. Many people think that bats are gross or weird, but they help our ecosystem. When someone says “Don’t go near the bat! It will give you rabies”. Bats can give you rabies but it only happens to 2% of people. Bats are actually very helpful to our world. In one night, a single bat can consume up to 3,000 insects! If bats went extinct, the number of bugs would increase by 45%. How can we solve this problem?

Define: An extensive study gives new light on the potential mechanisms causing population decreases in bats as reported internationally for the previous 200 years. There are around 1,300 species of bats on Earth including the 18 we have here in Canada, and many of them are already regarded as endangered or declining. Many stresses that bats experience will often cause their death. For example, white-nose syndrome, which is brought on by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans. White-nose syndrome is to blame for a 94% decline in populations of little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus) and northern long-eared bats (Myotis septentrionalis) in Canada’s eastern provinces. In Canada, another major occurrence of death for bats is wind turbine collisions that are estimated to kill 47,400 bats annually in Canada. 

Ideate: If you’re looking to do your part and help bats there are many ways to get involved!

  • Learn about bats and spread the word. 
    • Help preserve the nature around you. 
    • Turn off any of the unnecessary lights that are on. 
    • Supply bats with extra shelter by creating a bat box (what our project is all about). 
  • Try not to disturb any bats
  • Be humane when it comes to removing them if needed.

For more information look “here

Prototype: The Grade Six students started the project by looking online for all the materials and finding the cost of all the materials needed to build a single bat box. Wood, Mesh, Plywood, caulk, wood finish, and insolation allows the bats to be safe from predators, and rough weather, and able to hang from the ceiling. After the price was calculated, Mr. Ray bought the materials needed and we started building the bat box.


Thank you for reading!

-The Grade 6 Class


Gr. 7 – Structures

Gr. 7 – Structures

All presentations, links, and videos from the Structures: Form and Function lessons will be posted below.

Lesson 1: Stability and Forces Presentation


Lesson 2: Stress on Structures and Structure Types Presentation

Lesson 3: Stability, Symmetry & Bridge Type Presentation

Lesson 4: Bridge Building Design Challenge!



Local Makerspace Tour

Local Makerspace Tour

Last week we had the opportunity to view some local Makerspaces to make new connections, share ideas, and gather information for our own Makerspace. We toured the Ottawa University STEM building, took a virtual tour of the Algonquin College Makerspace, and finished with a visit to the Museum of Science and Technology. Below are some pictures of the Ottawa U Makerspace, located in their STEM building as well as the Makerspace from the Museum.

Look at how many 3D printers the Ottawa University Makerspace has for their engineering students and the general population. They also house 3 laser cutters, a VR section, soldering stations, a metal CNC machine, and a variety of other tech tools in this space alone! The Makerspace is one room of many in their STEM building. It is not just engineering students that use these spaces either. It is obvious that the landscape of ‘how students learn’ is changing. The types of projects and learning here at the OJCS follow a similar trajectory and set our students up for success at the next level.


The display shelves of current and finished work are the first thing you notice when entering the Makerspace.

Workstations are set up with collaboration and experimentation in mind. The non-traditional learning space is littered with items made in-house. Can you spot all of the laser-cut boxes and signage?

Below are pictures of the machinery, woodworking, collaboration, and lab rooms at the Ottawa U STEM building. We didn’t even get to tour the ‘Sandbox’, which is a completely different building that combines entrepreneurship with design, and engineering. The prototyping and business startup connection is growing and a future path for many students looking to join the next wave of engineering and business startups. Hopefully, the OJCS Makerspace will be the spark and start of that journey for our students.

Biodiversity – Grade 6

Biodiversity – Grade 6

Below are all of the presentations, videos, and assignments for our unit on Biodiversity.

Lesson 1: What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity Videos

Lesson 2:  The 5 Kingdoms and Classification

Lesson 3:  Classification of Trees


Tree Identification Resources

Natural History Museum Tree Identification Key

Lesson 4:  Classifying Animals – The Invertebrates

Lesson 5:  Classifying Animals – The Vertebrates

Lesson 6:  Scavenger Hunt!

Scavenger Hunt Evidence Sheet – link

Lesson 7:  Biodiversity Worksheet

Biodiversity Video Worksheet – link

Grade 8 – Water Systems

Grade 8 – Water Systems

All information, assignments, links, videos, and rubrics for our final unit on water can be found below.

Water molecule Simulator

Try out this ‘Build a Molecule’ online simulator (Complete the ‘single’ category)

COULD DO (Complete the ‘multiple’, and ‘playground’ categories)

Safe Drinking Water

10.2 – What is Water? , 10.3 – The Water Cycle & 10.5 – Making Water Drinkable

Water Quality

11.1 – Fresh Water and Salt Water & 11.2 Contaminants in Water

11.4 – Watersheds & 11.7 – Wastewater Treatment

Water, Weather, and Climate

12.1 – Surface Water and Climate & 12.2 – Glaciers, Polar Ice, and Global Warming

12.4 – Floods and Droughts & 12.6 – Water is Life

Assignment, Rubric, and Graphic Organizer

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